Author Topic: Vaughan Williams's Veranda  (Read 657842 times)

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Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4540 on: March 16, 2020, 11:00:48 PM »
Cheers guys. Just to be clear there was actually no wine involved at any point. I have always been partial to an oboe concerto. The Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto just hit a perticular spot at the time. This evening I enjoyed the R Strauss Oboe Concerto. There is just something wonderfully airy and flighty about the instrument in concertante mode that I find really appealing. The Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto is a case in point; airy, flighty and sometimes ethereal  8)
I tend to agree. The coupling with the Concerto Grosso and the Warlock works, posted above, is very nice indeed.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline aligreto

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4541 on: March 28, 2020, 09:21:33 AM »
Vaughan Williams: Job [Boult]





I was never really too sure about this work. I am not a “Ballet” person so perhaps I would need to experience a live version of a performance of this work to fully appreciate it. I do get the idea of the relationship between the music and the paintings of Blake [as opposed to the biblical reference]. I also find it atmospheric. Perhaps this is one for the RVW connoisseurs or perhaps it is just my relative unfamiliarity with the work and Vaughan Williams’ “voice” that I do not connect or engage with this work so much. Any guidance or thoughts would be welcome.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4542 on: March 28, 2020, 02:26:13 PM »
Vaughan Williams: Job [Boult]





I was never really too sure about this work. I am not a “Ballet” person so perhaps I would need to experience a live version of a performance of this work to fully appreciate it. I do get the idea of the relationship between the music and the paintings of Blake [as opposed to the biblical reference]. I also find it atmospheric. Perhaps this is one for the RVW connoisseurs or perhaps it is just my relative unfamiliarity with the work and Vaughan Williams’ “voice” that I do not connect or engage with this work so much. Any guidance or thoughts would be welcome.
Vaughan Williams had a bit of a complex about the word 'ballet' and called it a 'Masque for Dancing'. I like Job very much but it took me a while to appreciate. The first time I heard the work was a live concert at the Festival Hall in Lonon on 12th October 1972 - the centenary of VW's birth. I was seventeen. I subsequently bought the Boult EMI LP. It is a work which features both the pastoral and violent sides of VW's musical personality. The final sections I find especially moving. It was composed only a decade after the First World War and I wonder if the music, to some extent, reflects VW's wartime experience.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline aligreto

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4543 on: March 29, 2020, 02:48:24 AM »
Vaughan Williams had a bit of a complex about the word 'ballet' and called it a 'Masque for Dancing'. I like Job very much but it took me a while to appreciate. The first time I heard the work was a live concert at the Festival Hall in Lonon on 12th October 1972 - the centenary of VW's birth. I was seventeen. I subsequently bought the Boult EMI LP. It is a work which features both the pastoral and violent sides of VW's musical personality. The final sections I find especially moving. It was composed only a decade after the First World War and I wonder if the music, to some extent, reflects VW's wartime experience.

Thank you Jeffrey. I think that I can only persevere with it. It goes back onto the shelf awaiting its next airing in......
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4544 on: March 29, 2020, 02:50:53 AM »
Thank you Jeffrey. I think that I can only persevere with it. It goes back onto the shelf awaiting its next airing in......
My pleasure Fergus. I hope that you get to like it. Because it's dedicated to Boult he made at least four recordings of it!
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Biffo

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4545 on: March 29, 2020, 02:56:56 AM »
Vaughan Williams: Job [Boult]





I was never really too sure about this work. I am not a “Ballet” person so perhaps I would need to experience a live version of a performance of this work to fully appreciate it. I do get the idea of the relationship between the music and the paintings of Blake [as opposed to the biblical reference]. I also find it atmospheric. Perhaps this is one for the RVW connoisseurs or perhaps it is just my relative unfamiliarity with the work and Vaughan Williams’ “voice” that I do not connect or engage with this work so much. Any guidance or thoughts would be welcome.

Not really much to say except that Job is one of my favourite RVW works and I loved it on first hearing. Boult/LSO is my favourite version by a long way. I'm not a ballet fan and the thought of seeing Job staged makes my blood run cold.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4546 on: March 29, 2020, 02:58:19 AM »
My pleasure Fergus. I hope that you get to like it. Because it's dedicated to Boult he made at least four recordings of it!

Cheers Jeffrey.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4547 on: March 29, 2020, 03:02:16 AM »
Not really much to say except that Job is one of my favourite RVW works and I loved it on first hearing. Boult/LSO is my favourite version by a long way. I'm not a ballet fan and the thought of seeing Job staged makes my blood run cold.

That is an interesting comment because, as I listened to it, I kept thinking to myself how on earth could one stage this. I think that trying to visualise this was part of my issue with it.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Biffo

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4548 on: March 29, 2020, 03:11:04 AM »
That is an interesting comment because, as I listened to it, I kept thinking to myself how on earth could one stage this. I think that trying to visualise this was part of my issue with it.

RVW offered it to Diaghilev who turned it down. RVW wrote ' I feel that the Russian Ballet would have made an unholy mess of it with their over-developed calves'. Probably better to just leave it to your own imagination.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4549 on: March 29, 2020, 03:20:51 AM »
Not really much to say except that Job is one of my favourite RVW works and I loved it on first hearing. Boult/LSO is my favourite version by a long way. I'm not a ballet fan and the thought of seeing Job staged makes my blood run cold.
I think that is my favourite version too. It has a depth and spirituality about it which I find very moving.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline relm1

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4550 on: March 30, 2020, 04:56:48 PM »
I am not sure if this is the right thread for my question, but I am listening to the late John Joubert's (1927-2019) English Requiem (2010) and find it gorgeous and moving.  It is heavily influenced by RVW.  I am wondering, with the loss of Joubert and Aurthur Butterworth (1923-2014), are there any active composers living today who are overtly influenced by RVW or where these two the last?...those who knew him personally?

Offline Daverz

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4551 on: March 30, 2020, 06:59:14 PM »
I am not sure if this is the right thread for my question, but I am listening to the late John Joubert's (1927-2019) English Requiem (2010) and find it gorgeous and moving.  It is heavily influenced by RVW.  I am wondering, with the loss of Joubert and Aurthur Butterworth (1923-2014), are there any active composers living today who are overtly influenced by RVW or where these two the last?...those who knew him personally?

I'd also recommend Arnold Rosner, but also no longer with us, unforntuately.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4552 on: March 31, 2020, 12:15:14 AM »
I'd also recommend Arnold Rosner, but also no longer with us, unforntuately.
I agree. I liked Rosner's music and communicated with him about it. He said that when he came to London he'd be interested to meet up (I think his sister lives here) but sadly it wasn't to be.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Christo

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4553 on: April 01, 2020, 01:37:10 AM »
Another deceased composer, yet a name I never encountered before in RVW Land, being Nino Rota (1911-1979). Listening to his early Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2 (both mid-1930s, the First completed in 1935, the Second started at the same time, but finished in 1939) I read the booklet notes, by Michele René Mannucci.

He writes: "[Rota] travelled to the United States on a study bursary to attend The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. There he worked with Frits Reiner, taking advantage of his weekends to pay frequent visits to the apartment of Arturo Toscanini in New York. Here he had the opportunity to mix with many illustrious musicians, including Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland and, most importantly of all, Ralph Vaughan Williams. As we shall see, the influence of Vaughan Williams was to become evident especially where the art of orchestration and a taste for musical landscape painting carried to extremes were concerned."

Writing about the second movement of Symphony No. 1, an Andante, he writes: "Similarly striking is the contrast presented by the second movement, in which the woodwind often give way to the draker timbre of the brass - almost a prophetic vision of the imminent Second World War - over a string foundation in which echoes of the afternoons spent with Vaughan Williams in Toscanini's apartment are present in profusion."

Writing about the third movement of Symphony No. 2, an Andante con moto, he returns: "If in the nocturnal atmosphere of the third movement, strings and horns return to the austerity of Vaughan Williams' symphonic style as encountered in Symphony No. 1, the fourth is nothing other than an extenuating beating out of dotted rhythms beneath a soft, velvety melodic mantle, a clear musical depiction of that freedom of expression so dear to Rota (...) [ough 8)].

Echoes of the afternoons spent with RVW in Toscanini's apartment - I'd never read that story before, nor knew about Rota's indebtedness. Did any of you, and who knows more about it?  ::)
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4554 on: April 01, 2020, 04:43:02 AM »
Another deceased composer, yet a name I never encountered before in RVW Land, being Nino Rota (1911-1979). Listening to his early Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2 (both mid-1930s, the First completed in 1935, the Second started at the same time, but finished in 1939) I read the booklet notes, by Michele René Mannucci.

He writes: "[Rota] travelled to the United States on a study bursary to attend The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. There he worked with Frits Reiner, taking advantage of his weekends to pay frequent visits to the apartment of Arturo Toscanini in New York. Here he had the opportunity to mix with many illustrious musicians, including Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland and, most importantly of all, Ralph Vaughan Williams. As we shall see, the influence of Vaughan Williams was to become evident especially where the art of orchestration and a taste for musical landscape painting carried to extremes were concerned."

Writing about the second movement of Symphony No. 1, an Andante, he writes: "Similarly striking is the contrast presented by the second movement, in which the woodwind often give way to the draker timbre of the brass - almost a prophetic vision of the imminent Second World War - over a string foundation in which echoes of the afternoons spent with Vaughan Williams in Toscanini's apartment are present in profusion."

Writing about the third movement of Symphony No. 2, an Andante con moto, he returns: "If in the nocturnal atmosphere of the third movement, strings and horns return to the austerity of Vaughan Williams' symphonic style as encountered in Symphony No. 1, the fourth is nothing other than an extenuating beating out of dotted rhythms beneath a soft, velvety melodic mantle, a clear musical depiction of that freedom of expression so dear to Rota (...) [ough 8)].

Echoes of the afternoons spent with RVW in Toscanini's apartment - I'd never read that story before, nor knew about Rota's indebtedness. Did any of you, and who knows more about it?  ::)
Never heard of that Johan. How interesting. What's your take on the symphonies by Nino Rota, which I've never heard?
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Christo

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4555 on: April 11, 2020, 11:44:46 AM »
Never heard of that Johan. How interesting. What's your take on the symphonies by Nino Rota, which I've never heard?
To be honest, it took me a while to be able to answer. Now I can confirm that these two - the first two, both finished in 1939, there are two more - come as a pleasant surprise. The melodies are often soaringly beautiful, what is missing is perhaps the real symphonic tension. I think it's understandable that he became a film composer first and for all, his melodic gift is rare, e.g. the opening movement of the First is beautiful as a dream. Some of his melodic writing is even reminiscent - gently flowing, highly inspired and easy-going at the same time - of good old Braga Santos.  ;D

RVW's inspiration is easily recognizable, though more in the sense of folk song melodies than, again, in symphonic thinking. Nevertheless, I ordered for the other two symphonies, also Chandos, immediately. Recommended.

BTW, still wondering about 'Vaughan Williams staying in Toscanini's apartment' in the early or mid 1930s - I should check that story, but it seems incredible, isn't it? What could the author be referring at?  ::)
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4556 on: April 11, 2020, 04:41:19 PM »
That Rota-VW connection is intriguing. I've heard Rota's symphonies but I never was aware of something like that.

Offline JBS

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4557 on: April 11, 2020, 04:58:15 PM »
To be honest, it took me a while to be able to answer. Now I can confirm that these two - the first two, both finished in 1939, there are two more - come as a pleasant surprise. The melodies are often soaringly beautiful, what is missing is perhaps the real symphonic tension. I think it's understandable that he became a film composer first and for all, his melodic gift is rare, e.g. the opening movement of the First is beautiful as a dream. Some of his melodic writing is even reminiscent - gently flowing, highly inspired and easy-going at the same time - of good old Braga Santos.  ;D

RVW's inspiration is easily recognizable, though more in the sense of folk song melodies than, again, in symphonic thinking. Nevertheless, I ordered for the other two symphonies, also Chandos, immediately. Recommended.

BTW, still wondering about 'Vaughan Williams staying in Toscanini's apartment' in the early or mid 1930s - I should check that story, but it seems incredible, isn't it? What could the author be referring at?  ::)

Presumably during in 1932
Quote
In 1932 Vaughan Williams was elected president of the English Folk Dance and Song Society. From September to December of that year he was in the US as a visiting lecturer at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania

Rota was near the end of his study at the Curtis at that point.
Quote
Encouraged by Arturo Toscanini, Rota moved to the United States where he lived from 1930 to 1932. He won a scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Philadelphia, where he was taught conducting by Fritz Reiner and had Rosario Scalero as an instructor in composition.

(Quotes from Wikipedia biographies of the respective composers)

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Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4558 on: April 12, 2020, 12:29:41 AM »
To be honest, it took me a while to be able to answer. Now I can confirm that these two - the first two, both finished in 1939, there are two more - come as a pleasant surprise. The melodies are often soaringly beautiful, what is missing is perhaps the real symphonic tension. I think it's understandable that he became a film composer first and for all, his melodic gift is rare, e.g. the opening movement of the First is beautiful as a dream. Some of his melodic writing is even reminiscent - gently flowing, highly inspired and easy-going at the same time - of good old Braga Santos.  ;D

RVW's inspiration is easily recognizable, though more in the sense of folk song melodies than, again, in symphonic thinking. Nevertheless, I ordered for the other two symphonies, also Chandos, immediately. Recommended.

BTW, still wondering about 'Vaughan Williams staying in Toscanini's apartment' in the early or mid 1930s - I should check that story, but it seems incredible, isn't it? What could the author be referring at?  ::)
Interesting Johan. Thanks. Happy Easter in these difficult times.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Biffo

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4559 on: April 12, 2020, 01:28:53 AM »
RVW visited the USA three times, in 1922, 1932 and 1954. If he did meet Toscanini 1932 seems the most likely because of the overlap with Rota. However, none of his letters mention a meeting and I can't find any references in my recent reading except when Toscanini came to London in 1935 and conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Adrian Boult arranged for RVW to attend the rehearsals.

It doesn't, of course. mean it didn't happen but at the moment it is a bit elusive.